FarrPro is innovating in the swine industry to keep piglets warm and healthy, while improving the bottom line for producers.
Pork is a $30 billion industry and the meat is the most consumed protein in the world; it continues to hold steady in popularity, according to FarrPro. As a result, farmers are increasing their reliance on new technologies and innovations within the agriculture industry in order to keep up with the increase in demand. The newest innovation to the Pork industry being introduced to the market comes from FarrPro, a company responsible for a product called Haven.
What is Haven? Haven is a product designed to replace cheap, inefficient and sometimes deadly heat lamps that have been traditionally used to keep pigs warm for decades. Haven is designed as a better solution to improve both the mother’s health and her piglets’ health. Why is this important? Pre-wean mortality is a huge problem within the swine industry, resulting in hundreds of millions in lost revenue each year. Two of the primary causes of pre-wen mortality are crushing and chill. Studies have been conducted that indicate that pigs suffering from chill put themselves in danger by seeking warmth from under their mother’s udder. This oftentimes results in them being crushed when the sow rolls on them, stepped on as the sow moves about in her pen.
Chill is a big problem because piglets are born without temperature regulation capabilities and thus rely on their mother’s milk to keep warm. While piglets need an environment of 90-95 degrees to live sustainably, farrowing facilities keep temperatures at about 75 degrees, on average. Farmers provide piglets with artificial heat sources to keep their pigs alive and healthy.
The widely accepted solution to this problem is simply a heat lamp. This method, however, heats piglets unevenly and creates inconsistent areas of too much or too little warmth. In addition, this source of heat, which is required for piglet’s health, can negatively affect the sow’s health.
FarrPro developed Haven as a way of reducing chill in pigs which ultimately decreases pre-wean mortality. They accomplished this by creating a semi-enclosed microclimate that delivers pigs the perfect amount of heat that is distributed equally throughout the enclosure. This eliminates piling and ultimately keeps piglets safely away from the crush zone.
Iowa State University is conducting a study of the Haven’s effectiveness at reducing pre-wean mortality and energy usage. Preliminary data is very promising; the forthcoming paper will be published this fall. Currently FarrPro is conducting pilot studies with several large Midwestern producers. Findings suggest that FarrPro’s product, Haven, has resulted in a 30% reduction on mortality. The results so far also indicate that the overall health of the sows and their piglets are increased as a result of using Haven.
Amos Petersen, FarrPro Co-founder and CEO, grew up on a farm in Southeast Iowa. Amos graduated from the University of Iowa and holds an economics and electrical engineering degree. His co-founder and the company’s VP of Business Development, Chris Hanson has almost 20 years of experience in sales. Chris graduated from LeTourneua University with a degree in business management.
FarrPro also agreed to an exclusive product representation agreement with Ag Environmental Resources (AER) early this year. According to a press release, “the agreement gives AER the exclusive right to sell FarrPro’s Haven product in the 48 contiguous United States.”
For more information visit http://www.farrpro.com/.
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